Judge rules Giuliani liable in Claims Related to Defamation Lawsuit

Georgia state election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss filed a lawsuit in December 2021 against Rudy Giuliani accused Giuliani of defaming them by “falsely stating that they had engaged in fraud while counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.”

As reported, the lawsuit says “Giuliani repeatedly pushed debunked claims that Freeman and Moss — mother and daughter — pulled out suitcases of illegal ballots and committed other acts of fraud to try to alter the outcome of the race.”

In a decision Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell sanctioned the former New York mayor and Trump ally for violations of his duty to secure and provide discovery information, which Judge Howell ruled indicated a “failing to fulfill his obligation to provide evidence to the attorneys of election workers Freeman and Moss.” Read the full 57-page court memorandum opinion.

Judge Howell issued a “default judgment” against Rudy Giuliani in the defamation lawsuit and ordered him to pay more than $130,000 in attorney fees. “In her decision, Howell called Giuliani’s actions the “willful shirking of his discovery obligations” by not providing information, saying he “has given only lip service to compliance with his discovery obligations and this Court’s orders by failing to take reasonable steps.”

Judge Howell elaborated: “The bottom line is that Giuliani has refused to comply with his discovery obligations and thwarted plaintiffs Ruby Freeman and Wandrea’ ArShaye Moss’s procedural rights to obtain any meaningful discovery in this case.” The judge ruled that Guiliani must reimburse over $43,000 in fees and costs associated with Freeman and Moss’ motion in court to receive information from Giuliani’s businesses. Freeman and Ross had already won nearly $90,000 in attorney court fees for a previous motion.

Reporting discloses that Moss told the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that “her life was shattered by the false accusations.” Freeman reportedly said in her testimony: “There is nowhere I feel safe.”

In a July filing, Giuliani conceded that he made public comments falsely making statements about ballot fraud, but argued that the statements were protected by the First Amendment. Reporting also disclosed that “Giuliani’s statement was attached to a filing arguing that he did not fail to produce evidence in the case and should not be sanctioned as Freeman and Moss had requested.”

Beryl also ordered Giuliani, Freeman, and Moss to come up with three dates where the case can go to a jury to determine damages by 2024.

D & B Staff

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